The founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Paul Crouch, passed away from degenerative heart disease. He is survived by his wife (Jan); two sons, Paul Jr. and Matthew; and several grandchildren. Crouch was often criticized and a target of controversy for some of his views and the guests that were hosted on TBN. See here for an sympathetic article from his friend Steve Strang. TBN will broadcast a special celebration of Crouch’s life and legacy Sunday, December 8th, at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. (Pacific) and Monday, December 9th, at 2 p.m. (Pacific).
Our local community is mourning the death of James Grier, Distinguished Professor of Philosophical Theology at Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. I met Dr. Grier only a couple of times. Once at a book table that I did last year and then here in the store. I heard numerous stories from students who only spoke of him with the highest praise. Joel Beeke says about him
“In response to our invitation, Dr. Grier soon began teaching various courses at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS), including Apologetics, Philosophical Ethics, and Critical Thinking for Ministry. I sat in on all of his classes the first time around, and was captivated by his teaching. I don’t say this lightly, but I believe he is one of the two best professors I have ever sat under in my life. His clarity of thought, his command of complex subjects and vocabulary, his humble demeanor and spirituality, his freedom to confess his own shortcomings, were all simply astonishing. He was a born teacher, a disciplined teacher, a loving teacher, and above all, a perpetual student. He read two or three books a week.”
Our prayers are with his family, friends and countless students who are feeling the loss of this beloved disciple of our Lord.
Shortly after Chuck Colson professed his new faith people asked him how could they know if he was genuine. He stated quite simply that they couldn’t. “Wait 10 years and see what I’m doing.” Well, we had 35 years and what God did in his life was real and the church is the better for it. Last year Colson came to Grand Rapids and I had the pleasure of working the book table for his event. As he passed our table he stopped and shook each of our hands. We exchanged courtesies and he was off to his room. It was a privilege to meet him even if for only thirty seconds. Justin Taylor has a list of some early obituaries and reflections here.
The famed painter known as the “painter of light,” Thomas Kinkade, died this past Friday. His art was both adored by his fans and snubbed by his critics. His work is estimated to be in over 10 million homes. That’s a lot of fans. Our prayers are with his family, friends and long-time lovers of his work. Kinkade was only 54 years old. He apparently died of natural causes.
New Testament scholar and Anglican cleric R. T. France passed away this past Saturday (Feb 10th). France was the author of such works as The Gospel of Matthew in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series, The Gospel of Mark in the New International Greek Commentary series, Matthew: Evangelist and Teacher and many more. Over the years I have come to enjoy and trust his work. He will be sorely missed.
Also, philosopher John Hick died on Thursday, Feb 9th. Hick was a notable philosopher of religion and the author of Faith and Knowledge, The Metaphor of God Incarnate and many more. You can find his website here. Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig earned his Ph.D. in philosophy under Hick while he was at the University of Birmingham in England.
Our prayers will be with both these families.